Featured Learning Activities
I've been involved in the creation of learning technology inside the university and outside the university. I've led a Faculty-level learning tech and IT team in the creation of new tools and the marketing and support for new and existing tools. I've started two edtech companies and done application development, UI/UX design, legal, marketing, sales, user onboarding, and user support. What have I learned? Don't be naive. Be realistic.
I teach a course with students in a small group through the whole term, building public facing websites. I give lots of feedback along the way, essentially coaching more than teaching. In 2020 I tried using Notion for the whole process: all of the scaffolded group work, my coaching, and then the public-facing website. It was a huge success. This is the story.
For years I was frustrated with how we track grad students' progress and supervise them. PhD committees don't share notes, department information is inaccessible to supervisors, students are stressed that their committee doesn't know what they're working on and what stage they're at. So I solved this problem with a web application built on no-code platform Bubble. It's live at Prograds.com and we're bringing our first customers on board.
I am leading an effort to collect information on the learning experience, learning activities, and output of students in all UBC Political Science courses. We then aggregate that information by student to produce what we call a "Rich Transcript" showing what each student did in the course in their Political Science major. Feedback from students has been very positive.
In 2018 and again in 2019, 45 students collaborated to build the UVoteBC.ca website (2018) and the Elect2019.ca sites (2019). The first site provided information and guidance for citizens as they made their decision in the BC Electoral Reform Referendum of 2018. Elect2019.ca was a set of 6 student-built websites to inform voters and analyze the 2019 Canadian Federal Election.
In 2013 the Dean of Arts asked me to lead the Arts ISIT unit. I was always a geek and into learning technology. But the position really opened my eyes to all the challenges of management: helping a team of 25 people work together on a wide range of projects and services to help Arts faculty, staff, and students use technology for teaching and learning, research, and administration. In 2017-18 I served in a Staff position as Director of ISIT while also working as CEO of WeVu.
I've coached youth soccer from 2004 to the present. U6 to U18. Our VUFC Gold team won the 4-district league in 2016-17. I now coach U15 at VUFC (2019-2020). I emphasize learning how to play as a team and really understanding how the game works. So we attack to the dead-ball line (the goal line) near the edge of the 18 and cut it back or play it across the six! That's where Man City scores from, so it's good enough for me.
With two UBC colleagues from Arts ISIT, I co-founded ISIT Technology, which provides WeVu.video. It's a different video platform for education that emphasizes student self-recording of skills practice and instructors watching and giving feedback. It's been a crazy ride.
I was a co-investigator on the Making Electoral Democracy Work project. Our UBC work involved experiments where subjects saw articles describing an election campaign in another province. The experimental conditions were different numbers of parties and parties with different degrees of policy extremity. We produced several research papers.
I was one of four PI's on the CES to study the 2011 and 2015 Canadian Federal Elections. The work involved planning a multi-mode survey in both elections, balancing continuity with past studies and innovation. My specialization was the online survey mode and comparison of survey modes.